It's no shock that a band made up of former members of Deerhunter and Carnivores would be good, since both those bands are. It's more of a shock just how good Omni is. With ex-Deerhunter guitarist Frankie Broyles and ex-Carnivores bassist/vocalist Philip Frobos writing a batch of songs that combine the best aspects of brainy, hooky bands like Josef K, Television, and Magazine, then recording them with another ex-Carnivore, Billy Mitchell, on drums, Omni's Deluxe is a stunning debut. Recorded in sparkling lo-fi by yet another ex-Carnivore, Nathaniel Higgins, the trio mostly sticks to the basic guitar-bass-drums-vocals setup as the album careens from one angular post-punk-rocker to another. Within the structure, they make sure to vary guitar tones, tempos, and moods just enough to make sure each song stands alone, while still being part of a tightly wound, carefully built 30-minute thrill ride of an album. They have a knack for crashing through the verses in a furious dash, then pulling back in the choruses to allow the sharp hooks to grab on tight. Tracks like "Wire" and "Jungle Jenny" sport snappy singalong choruses, though it might be better to keep quiet and just appreciate Frobos' pitch-perfect post-punk vocal stylings. The guitar intros and riffs throughout the album are all pretty sticky too, with Broyles adding just the right bit of bar-chord chop and arpeggiated jangle to the wiry rhythms. He even gets pretty wild and noisy at times, like on the frenetic "Slam." By the end of the record it's almost impossible not to be impressed at how well it all comes together, and the band's blend of Postcard pop, post-punk herky-jerk, and dork-pop scrappiness never sounds like some kind of cerebral nostalgia trip; it sounds totally fresh and alive. Thank their boundless energy, their hook-generating capabilities, and the tough, clear production. Credit Broyles' mastery with six strings and a reverb pedal or Frobos' snarky, keening vocals. Give Mitchell a hand for pushing the songs forward with just the right balance of muscle and restraint. Most of all, just be glad these guys all quit their musical day jobs and formed Omni, because they made one heck of a good post-punk-pop album together.
|Label:||Trouble In Mind|